The darkest week of the year. The darkest week of my life.
Looking at me, you’d never have thought it was dark. My life looked good. My life was good: a warm home, a loving husband, four healthy kids, a supportive extended family, a caring church. We were all healthy, all fed, all clothed. I should have been falling on my face in gratitude.
And I was. I saw the gifts, knew them, gave thanks for them, and recognized only too well that I didn’t deserve any of them. And the recognition of such undeserved riches created a firestorm of fear in my soul.
Let’s be clear: the fear originated in my body. Postpartum hormones, six months of sleep-deprivation and the neurological impairment it engendered, and the adrenal response of my exhausted body to prolonged stress—this is what rendered me a weepy, terrified mess, staring teary-eyed into the frightened eyes of my children.
This bodily fear wreaked havoc on my soul—for we are embodied creatures, our spirits and bodies a unity of being. What affects the body affects the soul, and my soul was ravaged by the fear coursing through my body.
God went dark.
And as the foundation of my world, of my very self, disappeared into the darkness with Him, I floundered at the edge of a deepening, widening abyss. It threatened to swallow me whole.
But God saved me. God-in-the-flesh saved me. God’s name that darkest week was Sara. His name was Susan. His name was Monica and Melody and Doug and Barbara and Tiffany. God wrapped His arms around me. God sat with me on my sofa and held my babies. God cleaned my house and made me dinner and spoke words of comfort and hope and healing.
And God prescribed a little blue pill that I swallowed down with my tea and toast each morning, a mini eucharist right there in my dining room, though I didn’t even realize it.
So it turns out God didn’t go dark that week after all. Only my eyes went dark. But God doesn’t need my eyes to make Himself known. He plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs and eyes not His, plays to me through the features of others’ faces.
And I fall on my face in gratitude for such undeserved riches.
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